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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    433

    Energy Problems - How Will Supply Meet Demand?

    I hope this discussion can stay civil, but my main question is how exactly do you think that the demand for energy will be met?

    For example, you have the Hubbert Peak, which basicaly dictates that the cost of opportunity to recover oil becomes higher and higher as extraction takes place..And also that the Energy Profit (that is the energy invested versus energy returned) would most likely reach a point of 1:1 or less.

    So in your minds how exactly do you think that petroleum, oil is going to be replaced? And what exactly are your thoughts on this very, very difficult issue.

    Interesting to hear!

    PS: Personally I think we will be in a situation where the population will have to drop by as much as 4-5 billion so that solar, wind, and geothermal resources can be used to meet energy demands with the effects being felt within the next two decades.
    Last edited by Emil; 05-20-2005 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,582
    Nuclear power - it's the only viable long term energy source. It's safe and environmentally friendly too.
    Rich
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    295
    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Nuclear power - it's the only viable long term energy source. It's safe and environmentally friendly too.
    Agreed. Nuclear power to make electricity, electrolysis to separate water into hydrogen + oxygen, oxygen is released into the atmosphere, car reacts hydrogen with oxygen forming water again, then the cycle continues.

    That's the only viable way with current technology. Nuclear energy has bad press since the incident in Russia back in the 80's, however things have got safer since then. Radioactive waste is not a problem, it can be recycled into enriched uranium to be used again.. Then recycled again.. Eventually forming lead which has many purposes.

    The only reason we're not allowed to recycle nuclear waste is because enriched uranium is the stuff they put in nuclear bombs, as long as the reactors are kept tightly secure to prevent employees having access to it there's no problem.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Button Moon
    Posts
    491
    Nuclear fusion, (we currently use nuclear fission in nuclear power stations) Nuclear fusion is a clean way of producing energy with low level, low life radioactive waste

    Unlike in fission reactions, in which atomic nuclei are split to release energy, fusion reactions release energy when nuclei are forced together.

    The process is the same as the one that powers the Sun. Achieving stable and sustained reactions on Earth, however, present an immense challenge.

    The Iter design is for the reactions to take place inside a 100-million-degree gas (plasma) suspended in an intense doughnut-shaped magnetic field.

    ITER - NUCLEAR FUSION PROJECT

    Project estimated to cost 10bn euros and will run for 35 years
    It will produce the first sustained fusion reactions
    Final stage before full prototype of commercial reactor is built
    Iter will consolidate all that has been learnt over many decades of study. It is expected to produce 500MW of fusion power during pulses of at least 400 seconds.

    If it achieves this and its technologies are proven to be practical, the international community would then build a prototype commercial reactor, dubbed Demo.

    Fusion could help fill the void as the world moves away from oil, coal and natural gas.

    The fusion fuels are plentiful and produce no greenhouse emissions when "burnt".

    The systems are said to be inherently safe because they shutdown in a malfunction; and although radioactive materials are produced, they are not of the high-level long-lived variety that has so burdened nuclear fission
    full artical: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4328597.stm
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  5. #5
    If any one is interested in the problems we will face because of "Peak Oil" they should check out this website. It has many linked articles from reputable resources outlining the many problems we encounter with diminishing oil supplies. We won't run out of oil anytime soon, but we will extract less and less, and require more and more to go about our daily lives. Prices of oil will continue to rise to the point where it becomes too expensive to effectively use. Unfortunately, our economy runs on oil, and without a cheap source of energy, our economy will crash. Currently, alternative fuel sources aren't efficient enough. That is, it takes more energy to produce and maintain this energy, then it will dispense.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,014
    Demand will continue to increase more than proportionally than supply, and thus the price will rise beyond an acceptable level. If left to the market system, people WILL switch because it is then in their best interests. Obviously, the problem is they need something to switch to. However, if there's demand for something, and it can prove profitable for a firm, it will be supplied. A significant market for affordable energy will be created and much more money will be invested in research and development in that area, as opposed to researching for more places to dig for oil.
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  7. #7

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Boise, ID U.S.A.
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    3,503
    Some new and improved technology may give us a temporary boost in comfort. In general we will always be at or moving towards a discomfort level. If supply never improves, rising prices will determine who has to do without what and by how much. A surge in supply will result in more luxurious consumption until our practices and population increases rise to create difficulty. Maybe we'll push ourselves into extinction. The more "advanced" we become, the more helplessly dependent we become on all this infrastructure working just so. A shortage or malfunction becomes so much harder to just adapt to.

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